October 29, 2020 Webranking

Dutch corporate websites excel for career content but lack detail for shareholders

By Chris Henson

Dutch companies offer a mixed bag to their various stakeholders on their websites. While pressrooms may leave business journalists relatively satisfied and career pages give jobseekers enough to sink their teeth into, analysts and investors are somewhat under-serviced by a limited amount of investor content, particularly when it comes to stock information.

In this year's Webranking, we reviewed the websites of the 24 largest companies in the Netherlands to see how closely they are matching up to the expectations of stakeholders. The results show that a third of the companies provide at least 50% of the most important content on their websites. This is a reasonable return, and puts Dutch companies at a level slightly higher than the average of their European counterparts, but it does show that there's still plenty of room for improvement in their communications. Information for shareholders is one area that could benefit from more attention, as the amount of key content available trails the European average. Jobseekers are however receiving a reasonably good service, particularly in terms of the insights they receive on the employee experience.

Dutch career pages offer a walkthrough of what to expect

Dutch companies are generally very agile in supplying jobseekers with some of the information they consider most important on the career pages. This is particularly true for content showcasing what kind of working environment and opportunities a prospective employee can expect. For starters, 71% of Dutch companies provide information on the different career areas a future hire could work in, which is 20% above the European average. It's vital for jobseekers to envisage the types of career opportunities available to them, and this is well reflected in how many Dutch websites supply this information. Further to this, 88% of the jobseekers who answered our latest Careers survey also want companies to show how an employee might develop in their chosen career path. Only half of Dutch companies supply learning and development information, though, so this should be a focus area for many to take their career communications to the next level.

The presentation of corporate values or culture is another aspect of Dutch career pages that paints a picture for prospective applicants. 79% of Dutch companies currently provide insight on this, which is a higher rate than in every other country in Europe, and greatly helps jobseekers to understand whether a company could be a cultural match for them. In turn, sharing this information can also benefit companies by fostering a more refined pool of candidates who truly identify with the working environment. To add more weight to this display of what company life is like, Dutch career pages also offer up employee testimonials, both in text and in video, with greater frequency than the European average. This ensures jobseekers have even more information to hand when making application decisions, with testimonials able to bring a workplace to life by telling the experience through the eyes of current recruits.

Financial services company NN Group have the best Careers section in the Netherlands, and are in the top 20 for Europe as well. Their micro-site contains ample information on different areas of expertise, a raft of testimonials in text and video, details about training opportunities and even a test for candidates to see if their personality might fit in with the workplace culture.

Share information is in short supply

When comparing the amount of share information on the corporate websites of the 20 largest Dutch companies with the 20 largest companies from 14 ranked European countries, the Netherlands comes out 10th. They only present an average of 35% of the information most important to stakeholders in this area, which places them far closer to the bottom than the top. This should be a key channel for providing an efficient flow of information to capital market stakeholders from shareholders to financial analysts, but currently Dutch companies are drastically under-communicating.

One of the major aspects where this communication is lacking pertains to information on the shareholders who own significant portions of the country's largest companies. This is fundamental for the capital market, as they need to see how a company's stock is divided to understand the shareholder structure. Yet only 4 Dutch companies provide any detail on who their major shareholders are, and none present their share distribution in full. ASML Holding are the only Dutch company to provide details about their major shareholders which has clearly been updated during this calendar year. As with everything else it has been a turbulent year for the financial markets, so it's important that essential information like this is kept as up-to-date as possible.

The Dutch winners and the best climber

This year's winner in the Netherlands list is Royal Dutch Shell, following up their second place finish in the UK, where they are also listed. The oil and gas giant has improved its web content over the last year to achieve its best Webranking score yet and jump 6 places to the top of the podium for 2020-2021. ING have also climbed several places to take 2nd, while last year's winners Heineken remain solid in 3rd. This year's best climber is one place further back in 4th; ASML Holding have improved their score by an impressive 11.8 points to ascend 13 places in the ranking.

RankCompanyScore (out of 100)
1Royal Dutch Shell61.0
2ING57.4
3Heineken55.5
4ASML Holding53.2
5Philips Electronics52.8
6DSM52.3
7Aegon51.7
8Unilever50.8
9Airbus49.6
10Abn Amro48.4

See the full Dutch results

Helena Wennergren

Head of Research

helena.wennergren@comprend.com

+46 70 971 12 10

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